Wednesday, May 15, 2013
BIG’s Blog: A peculiar dynamic begins again
Every once in awhile, something just really gets to me and I write an overly harsh blog. Then a funny thing happens... a peculiar dynamic cycle kicks in. Invariably following the “harsh” blog, over the next week as people read it, some are hurt or offended and cancel their subscription. It happens like clockwork. A short-term surge in cancellations.
Then, a strange thing happens over the following few weeks, I get a bigger than normal surge of subscribers. I understand the un-subscribers... I just don’t yet understand why there is a surge or where these new subscribers are coming from.
My readers know that we have transformed Browne Innovation Group from a traditional consulting organization delivering our consulting service in-person and on-site into an e-learning and online coaching delivery model. This has allowed many more organizations to be able to afford our program and learn our new fundraising model. We only have two classes per year because the courses cover five months: January through June and July through December. Our next class starts July 6th.
Here is the thing... those who take a look at our online program, Acquiring the Next Generation of Supporters, fall into two distinct groups.
The first group “gets it” immediately and moves to sign up their organization. They admit their direct mail is declining in profitability, and even their events are getting smaller and smaller and grayer and grayer. They know they have to change . . . and even if they are initially skeptical about our program being the end-all panacea, they usually are impressed with the other organizations that have taken the program. Either way, they see no alternative and they need a Plan B.
Then there is the other group. They either don’t want to talk about their current fundraising results (other than to say it is better than last year), or they want to tell me that even though things aren’t looking good, they just know their leadership or board wouldn’t go for something like this.
When I ask them what their Plan B is, it is as if they fear for their jobs even if things are in decline. Huh? If you DON’T change directions, who is going to get the blame? I even explain that what they are facing in the decline in fundraising results isn’t really their fault; they are simply facing two huge societal shifts: A) a major shift in generations and B) society’s shift to digital forms of communications. But they can’t or won’t move.
I like the word “embrace.” A friend of mine told me that the only way you’ll survive in fundraising is to learn to embrace the struggle.
-MikeWelcome to BIG's Blog! Please feel free to forward this post to your friends and coworkers...and email me a comment at: firstname.lastname@example.org